South Australian Current Acts

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CRIMINAL LAW (SENTENCING) ACT 1988 - SECT 7A

7A—Victim impact statements

        (1)         A person who has suffered injury, loss or damage resulting from an indictable offence or a prescribed summary offence committed by another may furnish the sentencing court with a written personal statement (a "victim impact statement ) about the impact of that injury, loss or damage on the person and his or her family.

        (3)         Before determining sentence for the offence, the court

            (a)         will, if the person so requested when furnishing the statement, allow the person an opportunity to read the statement out to the court; and

            (b)         in any other case, will cause the statement to be read out to the court.

        (3a)         If the court considers there is good reason to do so, it may, in order to assist a person who wishes to read out a victim impact statement to the court

            (a)         allow an audio or audio visual record of the person reading the statement to be played to the court; or

            (b)         exercise any other powers that it has with regard to a vulnerable witness.

        (3b)         Subject to subsection (3c)


(but despite any other provision of this Act), the court must, if the person so requested when furnishing the statement, ensure that—

            (a)         the defendant; or

            (b)         if the defendant is a body corporate, a director or some other representative of the body corporate satisfactory to the court,

is present when the statement is read out to the court.

        (3c)         Subsection (3b)


does not apply if the court is satisfied that special reasons exist which make it inappropriate for the defendant or other person to be present, or that the presence of the defendant or other person may cause a disturbance or a threat to public order and safety (however, in such a case, the court must ensure that the defendant or other person is present by means of an audio visual link or audio link, if such facilities are reasonably available to the court, or that arrangements are otherwise made for the statement to be audiovisually recorded and played to the defendant or other person).

        (4)         The validity of a sentence is not affected by non-compliance or insufficient compliance with this section.

        (5)         In this section—

"prescribed summary offence" means—

            (a)         a summary offence that results in the death of a victim or a victim suffering total incapacity; or

            (b)         a summary offence (other than a summary offence of assault) that results in a victim suffering serious harm;

"serious harm" means—

            (a)         harm that endangers a person's life; or

            (b)         harm that consists of loss of, or serious and protracted impairment of, a part of the body or a physical or mental function; or

            (c)         harm that consists of serious disfigurement;

"total incapacity"—a victim suffers total incapacity if the victim is permanently physically or mentally incapable of independent function.



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